so hows that part of the world changed over the last 30 years?
that last pic shows a worn trail has it always looked like that?
Since these are primarily fire protection roads, that part has always looked like it does in the photo. A bit further down the hill, the road hadn't been maintained in years, and had devolved into a twisting, steep, slippery foot-wide track over rocks and roots. This past summer it saw some maintenance and now it is not nearly as challenging to ride. Give it a couple of years of winter rain and it will be back to "normal."
On the other side of the mountain, the ride finishes with a run down Repack. Until last year, Repack had become so eroded that just getting from top to bottom was a challenge. Since then it has also been maintained and it is really fast.
Yesterday Repack was in the sweetest condition I can remember. There were at least 700-800 riders ahead of me. The light rain the night before had compacted the clay road surface to tacky perfection, and hundreds of riders had burnished a shiny, foot-wide "groove" in the road that identified the perfect line.
Yesterday was definitely one of the more memorable rides I have been on, a great day, a great route, great company and my bike worked perfectly.
My book, Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking
is at your bookseller and on Amazon